SYDNEY: A consumer's mood affects how they absorb advertising messages when shopping, neuroscientific research has revealed, with social media less effective than anticipated.

In an article for Warc, The impact of 'shopping mode' and mood on receptiveness to advertising, Dr Peter Steidl, principal at Neurothinking, distinguishes between 'going shopping' and 'doing shopping'.

While the latter is the functional chore of getting groceries, when in 'shopping mode', consumers typically enjoy the process. They want to discover exciting options, are receptive to engaging messages and are more likely to share discoveries with others – online, over the phone or face-to-face. In this mode, consumers are more receptive to advertising.

However, Stiedl writes, when consumers are on social media they are typically not in shopping mode, instead looking for a dopamine release from social interactions and are thus much less likely to be receptive to brand messaging.

Marketers should be aware of a notable difference in mindset in consumer mindset for e-commerce, compared to social media.

When consumers visit an e-commerce platform, their goal is to explore potential purchases – they are in an active, or at least latent, shopping mode. When consumers visit a discovery platform (such as eBay, Alibaba or Amazon) they are in shopping mode – i.e., Going Shopping – whether they are planning to explore and buy or just doing some online window shopping.

Consumers who are exploring tend to be highly receptive to interesting new news, engagement opportunities and ideas, new experiences and generally anything that is not just an ordinary price promotion.

This has a significant impact on their receptiveness to messages that relate to the purchase of products, such as advertising messages and engagement opportunities related to brands and products.

Data sourced from Warc